NEW DELHI: India will try to restart scheduled international flights before August, depending on the pandemic situation here and in different countries, civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Saturday.
And the minimal contact way of flying means the international travel experience will change, with e-boarding cards soon to be allowed and immigration looking at e-options instead of physically stamping passports.
“I am fully hopeful that before August or September, we will try to start a good percentage of international civil aviation if not complete international operations,” Puri said during a Facebook Live session on Saturday.
Lufthansa and Swiss have put Mumbai on their list of long-haul destinations from Frankfurt and Zurich, respectively, in June – subject to regulatory approvals from India.
Puri had told TOI on Friday that the ministry was considering allowing e-boarding for international flights very soon. Immigration is also looking at adopting e-practices. “The future (for Indian airlines) is in wide-body operations. The pandemic will lead to a marked preference among people for direct flights between India and Europe, North America, Australia and other places, instead of transiting through some hub as that will mean going through the entire process of alighting, security checks and boarding again,” he said.